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Newest National Natural Landmark is West Bijou Site near Denver

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Posted at 8:50 AM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 11:24:15-05

STRASBURG, Colo. -- The newest National Natural Landmark in the United States is just outside Denver.

The West Bijou Site is managed by the Plains Conservation Center which protects grasslands and diverse wildlife on the east side of Aurora. The West Bijou Site is south of Strasburg, along West Bijou Creek.

The Department of the Interior said the West Bijou Site earned the national natural landmark status because of its rich fossil record.

"This 7,613-acre site provides critical information for understanding the timescale of all of Earth’s history," the Department of the Interior wrote.

Officials said the site includes a 1.18-inch band of sediments that marks both the massive extinction of dinosaurs and the dawning of the new Cenozoic Era.

"This moment in time is called the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary and is the most recent of Earth’s five large mass extinctions," the Dept of Interior wrote.

Officials said the site also contains minerals and metals that support the hypothesis that an asteroid caused the extinctions.

West Bijou Site is the 599th National Natural Landmark designation.

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